By-Election: Bitter war of words all weekend between Harlow Labour and Conservatives

Politics / Mon 22nd Oct 2018 am31 08:49am

A BITTER war of words has broken out on the doorstep between political opponents in Harlow.

Three by-elections are taking place in the town. Two in the wards of Bush Fair and Netteswell take place on Thursday November 8th. They come after the resignations of Labour councillors Ian Beckett and Waida Forman.

A third by-election will also take place in Toddbrook. This comes after the resignation of Labour councillor, Karen Clempner (Friday).

But the upset started on Friday night after councillor Chris Vince posted a ‘Labour doorstep selfie” as he undertook one of his traditional Friday night litter picks.

It happened to be in the same street that Karen Clempner lives on. Her husband and former leader of Harlow Council, Jon Clempner went onto social media to berate Cllr Vince.

Mr Clempner said: “This sort of sums up Harlow Labour, smiling photograph outside our house the day that Karen Clempner resigns. Is this supposed to intimidate? It won’t work”

Cllr Vince insisted that “The litter pick was arranged last week. I wish Karen Clempner all the best’.

Next day, Harlow Conservatives were canvassing in Bush Fair and noticed that a poster in a community notice board with the three councillors had Ian Beckett’s face covered by a paper plate.

Deputy leader, cllr Joel Charles pointed this out and felt it was an example of how “petty” Harlow Labour had become.

With all this going on, the chair of Harlow Labour, Charles Cochrane, a veteran of Harlow politics going back forty years, stepped in to issue a statement to quash rumours of some form of “Momentum coup” within Harlow Labour.

Our interview with Mr Cochrane is below.

Mr Cochrane said:’I would like to express my sadness that three Labour Councillors have resigned from Harlow Council in the last month. This is unfortunate and I would like to thank them for the work they have done for Harlow.

I rarely comment on resignations in an attempt to respect the privacy of Councillors who feel they cannot continue with their role. However, the Conservatives and our other political opponents in Harlow are desperately attempting to stir up rumours of a “take-over by Momentum”. This is clearly untrue.

Harlow Labour is an extremely broad church, welcoming anyone who wants to fight for a fairer and more equal Britain. We have over five hundred members with just a handful who are also proud members of Momentum. This small grouping contributes actively to debates at meetings, and helps regularly with campaigning. Just like the rest of our fantastic and dedicated membership. The truth of the matter is that Momentum is a legitimate part of the Labour Party, and their contribution in Harlow, whether organising charity events, working in our community or campaigning alongside Labour Councillors, has been very welcome.

The public will undoubtedly see through this desperate scaremongering from the Conservatives and our other political opponents. Labour’s plan to build a better Harlow, and a better Britain, has huge support that is only getting stronger. I look forward to working with a strong Labour Council and an excellent Labour MP long into the future’.

All details of candidates for both by-election can be found on our politics page.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

6 Comments for By-Election: Bitter war of words all weekend between Harlow Labour and Conservatives:

2018-10-22 09:21:32

Dubious inferences and blatant contradictions of previous comments, made by Labour members, regarding the influence of Momentum bully boy tactics against anybody, who isn't part of the insider clique. Vote for Labour at your PERIL

2018-10-22 10:16:23

Who does Charlie Cochrane think he's kidding? (He's Chairman of the Labour Party, not Chair of the Council incidentally!) Their Parliamentary Candidate only got the job because she's Momentum backed. Jon Clempner resigned as a result of a "Momentum organiser", subsequently confirmed as the same young lady. His wife Karen's position was therefore untenable. Ian Beckett was deselected for voicing his support for Jon publicly. Heaven knows what the truth is with Waida Forman. Four By Elections have been created by this infighting, and Harlow Residents are having to pick up the tab for them. Time Labour came clean.

2018-10-22 11:47:12

What's a few off the cuff distortions UK M ? Lots more from where this came from. Momentum at your PERIL

2018-10-22 15:30:03

I like it - Councillor intimidates by cleaning up your street.

2018-10-22 20:37:30

Strange world we live in where we pay a company (HTS) to keep our town clean and tidy yet our councillors have to do it for them, or is it purly for the "look at me" photo opportunities

2018-10-23 11:55:17

Actually he was pretending to check out pot-holes. R W. Likes to be seen does CV, not a lot on his though.

Leave a Comment Below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *